$24,000 T-shirts, monkey bookclub, and a beatdown for the ages (Issue #30)
It's called "fashion," Sharon, look it up.
Increasingly, the physical and virtual worlds are rubbing up against and spilling into one another. Objects you buy in the real world could soon come with digital counterparts, like vinyl that comes with a download code for a digital album, except that code also get you into hip parties or sees you airdropped a rare collectible that proves your membership of an exclusive club… or which you can sell for a pretty penny.
It’s an increasingly strange and exciting world and, frankly, it’s getting ever more tricky to explain to our grandparents. But we continue trying, and we hope we can help you explain it to yours. Unless you are a grandparent yourself, anon, in which case, mazeltov, and enjoy the time you can with those tykes… like the web3 metamultiverse, they grow up so fast, don’t they?
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Right, let’s get straight into it!
The influential, but anonymous, web3/NFT figure gmoney announced this week he’s launching a luxury fashion brand called 9dcc. You might remember gmoney from Adidas’ “Into the Metaverse” collaboration, or maybe you heard he’s involved with WAGMI United, or perhaps you remember when he dropped 140 ETH on a CryptoPunk (then a record price in USD).
Perhaps you’ve heard of his Admit One pass, which dropped last month. Whatever you know (or don’t) about him, the fact that he’s launching a fashion label is a big deal.
In a few short years, gmoney has become one of the most recognizable figures in the world of NFTs… or at least the CryptoPunk he uses as an avatar has. He’s appeared at runway shows of luxury brands. He has clout. He’s respected by degens. And when he makes a move, the market pays attention.
The first capsule (as those in the know call it) from 9dcc — dubbed “Iteration 01” — will be 1,000 T-shirts which, admittedly, aren’t a garment that tends to scream “luxury.” But where they do overlap with the luxury sector is in terms of their exclusivity. To get one, you’ll need to hold an Admit One pass, an NFT of which there are only 1,000, and which currently trade for ~19 ETH (~$24,000).
The vision with 9dcc — as gmoney explains it — is to find out what’s possible when web3 and luxury fashion collide. Each T-shirt will have an NFT attached to it, and future collaborations could — potentially — see designers get a cut every time an item they worked on changes hands. How that would work exactly remains to be seen, as does how integrating NFTs with physical fashion will play out, and how issues like hacks and compromised wallets will be dealt with.
But the point is gmoney isn’t just asking the pertinent questions… he’s actively testing the boundaries between the two realms, and learning by doing. NFTs brought scarcity to digital goods, and luxury fashion relies on scarcity to create value for physical goods — a marriage of the two was inevitable.
However this plays out, it’s going to help inform the futures of real-world fashion in relation to web3. And if all else fails, at least a few people will be able to joke that they bought an Admit One pass, and all they got was a (super-exclusive, high-quality) T-shirt.
🎩 In the Navy ⛵️
Probably nothing 🤔
Break on through… 🎮
Tomorrow (Saturday, July 16), holders of Otherdeeds will be able to participate in the “First Trip tech demo” of the Otherside, the metaverse/game-in-progress from Bored Ape Yacht Club.
You might remember Yuga Labs ran previous tests, in which it managed to have more than 2,500 simultaneous participants running amok (and mostly doing forward flips) in an otherwise largely barren environment... but in-browser — which is no mean feat. Tomorrow promises to be far more interesting, and hopefully more indicative of what’s to come.
GameStop pwns Coinbase 🥊
One time posterchild of the meme stock movement and videogame retailer, GameStop saw more volume on its newly launched NFT marketplace than cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase saw on its own marketplace in its first three months. Ouch.
How did it manage it? For starters, GameStop had new NFT collections at launch rather than merely trying to attract traders of existing projects away from other platforms. It also helps that GameStop has a weirdly loyal fanbase, including the r/wallstreetbets crowd, many of whom are, if not NFT-native, NFT-curious.
Add Coinbase’s lengthy pre-launch hype building, celebrity endorsements, and other marketing strategies degens tend to hate, and you’ve got a new cautionary tale for future business textbooks.
Bored and… bookish? 📚
This week, the first “web3 novel” landed, in the form of “Bored & Dangerous: As told to Neil Strauss by Jenkins the Valet.” There are a few things to unpack here. First, there’s Jenkins the Valet, one of the first Bored Ape characters that emerged from holders being granted commercial rights to their Apes. Then there’s Neil Strauss, the self-described “author of 10 NYT best-selling books, most of which people put another cover on when reading in public.”
One of those 10 titles was “The Game,” a book about pick-up artists that attracted, err, more than a little controversy. But “Bored & Dangerous” is unlikely to attract the same sort of scandal. Over 3,000 Ape holders contributed their Apes to the project, and 50% of the proceeds from it will be distributed to them. There are also burning-and-staking mechanisms involved that offer access either to a membership club or a future PFP drop.
No matter what you think of NFTs (or Neil Strauss), “Bored & Dangerous” represents a fascinating milestone in web3, creative collaboration, copyright, and the future of culture.
Disney goes web3 🏰
Disney Accelerator is a summer-long start-up incubator that’s been running for years, but this year feels a little different. This year’s intake is comprised entirely of web3-focused businesses.
The six companies selected for the program are Flickplay, Inworld, Lockerverse, Obsess, Polygon, and Red 6, and their focuses run the gamut from using augmented reality to tie NFTs to real places, to 3D virtual stores, to artificial intelligence-powered character creation.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (July 8 - 15, 2022) 🗓
Punks have been on a tear this week, dominating top sales and trade volumes. In second place there’s The Saudis, the latest meme project/free mint that’s managed to grab the attention of degens looking for a bit of fun amidst the doldrums of the ongoing bear market. The only other outlier in this week’s chart is YOLO HOLIDAY, which we have to admit has a compelling name, even if it’s likely to fade from memory (and the charts) as quickly as the summer inevitably does.
👀 Looks rare… and flowery 🌼
Sailors seeking ships ⚓️
NFT marketplace OpenSea announced this week it’s laying off 20% of its team (or 40 of its ~270 employees), making it the latest victim of the NFT winter that’s forcing even the largest players to tighten their belts and batten down the proverbial hatches. OpenSea says it expects these will be the last layoffs it makes for a long time, and that it estimates it has five years of runway following the cuts.
The company also blamed broader macroeconomic factors for the decision, but added that departing employees will receive healthcare coverage into 2023 and “generous severance.” This might be some relief for them, but likely isn’t for the recently hired at other web3 initiatives who may be wondering if they’re next to the chopping block.
To the moon 🌜
One of the big stories of the week in NFT Land was The Saudis, a meme project that minted for free on July 9 and saw $7.7 million in volume in its first three days. The founders aren’t doxxed, the whole project is a little culturally insensitive, and at least one notable NFT figure has been embroiled in a scandal surrounding it… but as the saying goes, anon, “degens gonna ape.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Sandbox is partnering with Tony Hawk to create what it’s calling “the world’s biggest skatepark in the metaverse.” Gnarly!
PROOF acquired Divergence, a London-based web3 engineering firm, for an undisclosed amount. PROOF has been teasing a “social universe” it plans to launch later this year.
In a big week for CryptoPunk sales, one sale, in particular, stood out. Punk #4146 sold for 2,691 ETH ($3,312,002), a profit of 191 ETH for the seller… but a loss in dollar terms of ~$7 million. A desperate seller? Or a smart one looking to lock in a hefty bit of tax loss harvesting?
Supermodel Karlie Kloss is partnering with Roblox and five designers to create new accessories for the service, which will sell for between 50c and $1 each. Roblox already supports virtual fashion and accessories and makes millions of dollars from it.
Artist Ian Cheng has a new project launching in August called 3FACE that will analyze the contents of your digital wallet and create an adaptive portrait (that is, one that changes over time) based on what it finds. Given how much unsolicited detritus we’ve had to hide in ours, anon, we’re wary, to say the least.
Oh, and Bill Murray’s NFT collection we wrote about in March dropped (and sold out) on Coinbase. So at least that’s some good news for Coinbase’s NFT market.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Bedtime reading 📚
We find it helpful to check on how normies are describing and thinking about the nascent metaverse. This week’s temperature check comes courtesy of Harvard Business Review and a story entitled, “Exploring the Metaverse.”
Meanwhile, Artnet has a story on six teenage NFT phenoms you should be paying attention to.
Goats only 🐐
Whether you’ve told your sordid secrets to Jenkins the Valet or they remain between you and your therapist, you should be watching or listening to Goats and the Metaverse.
In each episode, collectibles OG and entrepreneur Stan “The Goat” Meytin and Metaversal co-founder and CEO Yossi Hasson talk about digital and IRL collectibles, NFTs, and the week’s news worth knowing.
This week, they look at whether the NFT market is becoming bullish again, investigate three NFT projects under 1 ETH ( The Saudis project), and consider the risks of dropping a Series 2 project in a bear market. Check out the latest episode here:
Aside from providing invaluable insights into digital art and collectibles, Stan and Yossi are also putting together a collection of NFTs dubbed “The Goat Vault.” When the show hits 5,000 subscribers on YouTube, one of those lucky subscribers will win the contents of the vault, which at last count was valued at over $17,500.
Money <> mouth 💸
Each week we’ll offer you a look at an NFT project we’ve invested in and the motivation behind it. This week we’re looking at “Sticky Circles #7” by loackme.
Based in the Netherlands, loackme is a generative artist whose work is often monochromatic and interrogates the possibilities of geometry, pixelation, and ASCII. His compositions are often more complex than they appear at first glance, especially those compromised of simple shapes in novel arrangements.
Help wanted 🥷
Metaversal is building out a world-class team to help bring our partner projects to life, provide market analysis for our investment team, and further our mission of creating the community of communities for web3. You can see our full list of open roles here. But this week, we want to highlight the following vacancy:
💥 Marketing Director 📣
We’re looking for a marketing director who’s passionate about the open metaverse and able to promote not just Metaversal, but the diverse projects it works on. The successful candidate will get to work with a dynamic, rapidly growing, and industry-leading team of investors, analysts, and creatives. They’ll also enjoy outstanding benefits, and shape the future of one of web3’s most dynamic businesses.
If you think you’d be a good fit, please apply by sending a cover letter and resumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who might be a good fit, please share this newsletter with them.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.